Governor Steve Beshear presented two small towns in Monroe County with more than $2 million today. Tompkinsville and Gamaliel will now be able to begin much needed sewer rehabilitation projects.
Today in the U.S. having an adequate amount of clean, running water seems like a basic need, but it hasn't always been easy to come by in Monroe County.
"If they don't have the basic infrastructure like clean water, a sewage treatment plants, and good roads, then they can't really move forward and benefit their people," said Gov. Steve Beshear.
In Gamaliel, even the mayor has experienced the effects of sewage overflows at grinder pumps and lift stations.
"I have in the past been one of those people that my pump didn't work, and you'd have to be very conservative on your water usage. I had to limit my usage doing laundry, and limit baths and stuff like that. It's hard to that especially if you have children or there's a medical need in the family," said Gamaliel Mayor Carol Wheeler.
Heavy rain in Tompkinsville has resulted in failing lifts and sewage overflows that contaminate water resources.
"We've also had alot of trouble with our man holes running over and sewage. As far as our lift stations, we need to replace some of those. We've just had alot of sewer problems her recently, and of course you know when sewer systems have been in that long, you're going to eventually have problems," said Tompkinsville Mayor Jeff Proffitt.
The county judge executive says both town's sewer systems are aging.
"One is nearly 60 years old and I think the other is almost 40 years old. They are deteriorating," said Monroe County Judge Executive Tommy Willett.
Gov. Beshear says it was obvious something needed to be done.
"You can usually look and see the most crying needs.... the things that really stand out and you really need to invest in first," said Gov. Beshear.
State and federal grants awarded to Tompkinsville totaled one million, and Gamaliel received just over $1 million for their sewer rehabilitation project. Monroe County Judge Executive Tommy Willett says the projects will impact about 1,200 people, and both mayors say they hope to have the projects completed within about a year.